DENVER, July 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Something fresh and green is sprouting up at the Colorado Convention Center. Convention Center event hospitality partner Centerplate is installing a brand new, large-scale, urban garden, the Blue Bear Farm. With over 5,000 square feet of growing space, the Blue Bear Farm will yield a bumper crop of farm-fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, and will even house two beehives. Centerplate's 'green thumb' projects will extend to the honorary residence of Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, where Centerplate will help install an urban garden of fruit trees and flowerbeds.
"The project is yet another initiative by Centerplate to provide our guests the best possible experience and support the communities in which we live and work," said Des Hague, President and CEO at Centerplate. "Blue Bear Farm is the ultimate combination of those goals: a beautiful, educational urban garden, where we can grow our own produce. It doesn't get any fresher than that."
"At the Colorado Convention Center, we've put major importance on delivering guests the freshest, local foods and flavors," says Centerplate's VP Laurence Rua. "Our chefs will make great use of the produce and honey from the Blue Bear Farm to represent the bounty of Colorado to our guests and fellow-citizens alike."
The Blue Bear Farm is part of Mayor Hancock's Denver Seeds Initiative whose mission is to grow a local fresh food economy that spurs job creation and provides all Denver neighborhoods with access to healthy and affordable food.
Produce Denver, is designing, building and maintaining the farm. The firm will also lead educational programming there. MojoGro has generously donated the organic soil being used and Dutch Heritage Gardens donated many of the plants. All three companies are local companies.
"Blue Bear Farm is a perfect example of how my Denver Seeds Initiative is growing a fresh food economy that will create jobs from plant to plate," Mayor Hancock said.
"Together, through public-private partnerships like this, we are increasing the production, processing and distribution of local, healthy foods that will serve as a model for our entire region. I want to congratulate Centerplate, MojoGro, Dutch Heritage Farms and Produce Denver for taking an active role in Denver Seeds, and for making significant strides in helping us deliver a world-class sustainable city."
"The Blue Bear Farm is the latest innovative project that adds to the national image of the Colorado Convention Center," said Kent Rice, Executive Director of Arts & Venues Denver. "Denver has quickly become known as a culinary city and to have a convention center with true farm to table access is something we are all very proud of."
These two Denver Seeds urban garden projects are only the latest example of Centerplate's commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability. With over 5,000 square feet of growing space, Blue Bear Farms will include over 2,000 feet of irrigation. The project is projected to grow 1,800 pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables in its first year, 3,600 pounds in year two and will ultimately reach over 5,000 pounds in years four and five. Two on-site beehives will also produce fresh honey, contributing to a total planned garden of over 2,000 fruit bushes, herbs, perennial plants and flowering bulbs. Planted vegetables include spinach, squash, tomatoes, eggplant, basil, and strawberries. Centerplate will include the fresh produce from the farm in dishes such as the traditional Colorado Green Chili and fresh homemade salsa.
At the honorary residence of Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, Centerplate will help install a second urban garden with over 1,600 feet of growing space. Plans encompass 14 fruit and berry producing bushes, 250 flowering bulbs and 8 fruit trees, including two varieties of apple and cherry trees.
Centerplate crafts and delivers "Craveable Experiences. Raveable Results." in over 250 prominent entertainment, sports and convention venues across North America – annually serving over 100 million guests. Centerplate has provided event hospitality services to 15 official U.S. Presidential Inaugural Balls, 13 Super Bowls, 20 World Series, the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, and the largest plated dinner in history at the Alpha Kappa Alpha Centennial Celebration. The company was recently named the fastest growing hospitality group in the country by Nation's Restaurant News. Visit the company online at www.centerplate.com